"A movement only takes form from that first act. Exploring a curiosity, or a real passion, and being motivated by a desire to solve something - that's really the best way."
This week's quote is by the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code - Reshma Saujani
Girls Who Code is a national not-for-profit organisation working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its summer immersion programs and clubs, Girls Who Code is leading a very impressive movement to educate and equip young women with skills to pursue tech in this male dominated field.
Reshma has worked in fields like law, government organisations, and even run for office. The common theme for her entire life has been about giving back to society as her family came as refugees from Uganda. Her journey was about finding the right industry that would help her bring real change into society. She was really interested in women's issues and poverty reduction and thought her place would be in politics.
Gradually, she realised that her journey is about building a movement of young coders, and that's how she would make a difference. Since the beginning of this organisation, Reshma has sparked a national conversation about the increasing number of women in technology. With backers like Google and Twitter and mentors like Facebook and AT&T, Girls Who Code has reached more than 185,000 girls in technology.
Reshma fiercely promotes female leadership which focuses on embracing risk and failure and promoting mentorship and sponsorship.
Even though Reshma is not a professional coder by experience or qualifications, she wasn't afraid to start this movement. She says, "You just have to do it. You just have to try. Too often, we’re just having conversations, and we talk to too many people when we should be just trying, or incubating our ideas. I’m not a coder. So I should have been afraid that I’d get asked a coding question I couldn’t answer, and I’d freeze and be frightened. I didn’t know any better! Just going out, trying and starting with a simple idea — and not necessarily trying to build a movement — is such an obvious, but an important first step."
Reshma gave a TED talk and discussed the "bravery gap" i.e. the idea that girls are raised to be perfect, while boys are raised to be brave. She believes that it's important to encourage people to try and take risks more often and make sure they know that there will be no repercussions for failing. This is not just for young girls, it also applies to all the youngsters and adults in workplaces. "In the workplace, we’re taught to worry about what happens if we don’t have full, complete knowledge of every detail. But if you create a culture and an environment that rewards people for taking risks, even if they don’t succeed, you can start changing behavior."
At DDSN we salute Reshma for her efforts to bridge the gender gap in technology and promoting bravery among young girls. We resonate with her passion to solve a problem in the best way that we can. Being in tech since the '90s, we have inculcated a culture of constant learning and mentorship among our team. More than half of our senior management is comprised of intelligent and hardworking women in tech, with years of industry experience. Our combined passion for contributing immensely in the tech world and helping our clients excel with the latest digital technology is what keeps us going and helps our clients trust us as their digital partners.
Who is Reshma Saujani?
Reshma Saujani is an American lawyer and a politician.
Saujani was the first Indian-American woman (and the first South Asian American woman) to run for Congress. She ran as a Democratic candidate for New York City Public Advocate in 2013, coming third in the primary.
During the race, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes, which led her to start this initiative - Girls Who Code.
She is the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect, and the New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World.
Her goal is one million women in computer science by 2020. She is an inspiration to all the young women who want to go into tech, she believes that no dream is too big.
At DDSN we share Reshma's beliefs about being brave in following our passion and continue doing it every day. Additionally, we are huge promoters of women in tech because we firmly believe that women can do anything they set their minds to.